(INDIANAPOLIS) – State employees who’ve served their fellow Hoosiers for decades were once again honored for their dedication with a celebratory reception at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday.
The annual Governor’s Long Term Employee Reception invited more than 370 employees to the Statehouse to be recognized for having spent at least 35 years working in Indiana government.
Lieutenant Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who presided over the event alongside Indiana State Personnel Department director Britni Saunders, joked that it would be another 10 years before she’d earn the right to sit among the distinguished group gathered in the south atrium. She called appearing at the event “an honor” and said the venerable group was likely raised as she was – “to have a strong sense of personal responsibility.”
“On behalf of Gov. Holcomb and myself, we want to thank you for your many years of public service, not just to those you have personally served, but to Hoosiers all across our great state,” Lt. Gov. Crouch said.
With one employee, Indiana Department of Child Services family case manager Alfred Fisher having served the state for more than 55 years, and a smattering of others working in state government for half a century, the lieutenant governor noted that the esteemed group had contributed a combined 14,000 years of service to the Hoosier State.
“When we come together,” said the lieutenant governor, “when we build together, we can build a better tomorrow.”
Fisher began his work for the state in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson was U.S. president, following the assassination only months earlier of President John F. Kennedy. Bonanza and Bewitched were among the top TV shows at the time, and The Beatles made their iconic U.S. debut that February on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Fisher was honored with a standing ovation from the more than 400 honorees and guests as he made his way to the stage area for a photo with the lieutenant governor and Indiana DCS director Terry Stigdon.
Director Saunders said Fisher is endearingly noted as “the best-dressed employee at Lake County DCS.” Perennially clad in shirt and tie, his colleagues joked that those trademark elements of his wardrobe are rarely eschewed – even on “jeans days.”
The applause was certainly warranted for a group including some who are set to start their seventh decade of service in 2020. The long-tenured employees collectively represent more than two dozen state agencies.
Each received a commemorative medallion bearing the state seal.
The ceremony was followed by refreshments as the honorees gathered with family members and friends for photos and conversation.